Digital coupon company Savor has extended the reach of its mobile shopping app, and plans to add Bluetooth beacons and card-linked offers to bring deals to consumers while they are in a store.
"We want to connect payment data and social channels to connect the dots from the time they search for an item to the purchase," says Rich DeNardis, founder of Savor. Savor just added an Android version of its iOS app, which uses analytics and social networking data to match offers to consumer preferences.
Consumers have the option of connecting their Savor account to Facebook. Savor then uses the consumer's 'social DNA,' built from likes and dislikes on Facebook, to improve the relevancy of offers, DeNardis says.
"We can pull out Facebook data that allows us see what interests they have," DeNardis says. "Folks who build up a social presence can build a connection to brands they are interested in."
The company next plans to use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, which can deliver offers to consumers based on their location in a store. A growing number of retailers and payment companies are adopting beacons, which are more conducive to retail environments than GPS is, DeNardis says.
"Beacons elevate targeted messages," DeNardis says. "What's next for consumers is shopping, getting a deal while in the store, and sharing the information with friends."
Consumers create a profile on Savor that highlights their favorite brands and interests. The app displays savings opportunities in a digital catalogue for consumers to peruse. Savor searches for sales and online coupons at retailers and delivers relevant offers to consumers. Shoppers copy and paste the coupon code from Savor's app when making a purchase, and Savor gets a cut of successful redemptions from the retailers.
Other features include bookmarks, which allow shoppers to start a session on one device and finish on another, and customizable notifications.
"If someone is a regular shopper at a particular retailer, but stops [shopping there], the retailer would have the ability to incent the consumer to come back," DeNardis says.
Savor also plans to introduce a card-linked offer serviced this year. Card-linked offers, which allow consumers to redeem discounts by swiping a linked card at the point of sale, are considered a beneficial yet underused marketing tool. Other companies such as VeriFone and Coupons.com have started to adopt card linked offers. Cardlytics, a provider of card-linked offers, also makes its technology available through Facebook.
"The challenge is managing the number of offers to keep it meaningful and not intrusive," says Andy Schmidt, a research director at CEB TowerGroup, who also says the technology requires some knowledge on behalf of the user. "I would imagine the users would be more tech-savvy and are using the smartphones to shop, so there would have to be some base level of knowledge."
The link to Facebook may have unintended consequences, Schmidt says.
"There is the creepy factor," he says. "I would rather sign up directly with Savor and tweak what I ask for than use Facebook."